The New York Times is contemplating legal action against OpenAI over copyright issues. According to a report by npr.org, the newspaper might sue OpenAI to safeguard the intellectual property rights associated with its reporting.
The New York Times is fearing that ChatGPT is kind of becoming its rival, by generating text which answers questions based on the original reporting by the newspaper’s staff.
The report says that there have been negotiations between The New York Times and the maker of ChatGPT over the latter’s incorporation of its stories in AI tools. However, after weeks of discussions, they have failed to strike a licensing deal under which OpenAI would need to pay New York Times for use of its intellectual property.
If the Times goes ahead with the lawsuit, it will mark a high-profile legal battle over copyright protection in the age of generative AI.
Reportedly, Microsoft has invested billions into OpenAI and is now using ChatGPT to power its Bing search engine. New York Times’ concern is that if someone searches online, the user might get an answer which has been remodeled from its reporting. In such case, the user’s requirement is met and the need to visit the Times’ website is reduced.
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In June, the Times CEO Meredith Kopit Levien had talked about the alleged use of the newspaper’s intellectual property by tech companies.
“There must be fair value exchange for the content that’s already been used, and the content that will continue to be used to train models,” said Meredith.
Daniel Gervais, the co-director of the intellectual property program at Vanderbilt University who studies generative AI, has weighed in on the situation.
“If you’re copying millions of works, you can see how that becomes a number that becomes potentially fatal for a company,” said Gervais.
“Copyright law is a sword that’s going to hang over the heads of AI companies for several years unless they figure out how to negotiate a solution,” added Gervais.